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by Phil Stott | June 08, 2016


If your childhood was anything like mine, you spent most of it enduring a variety of methods aimed at coaxing out the kinds of behaviors that are commonly held to make one a responsible adult: abiding by the law, being polite, and paying attention when others are speaking.

But maybe I should have worked a little harder on getting into trouble: as reported by the Wall Street Journal, a recent study found that "rule-breaking, defiant kids often end up richer than their more responsible peers."

Want proof? Check out the WSJ video here:


While I was never the best-behaved kid out there, I can't honestly look back and say that I'd recognize myself as being overly endowed with traits like "rule-breaking, inattentiveness and impatience." Which, it turns out, is a shame—according to the study those are the "best non-cognitive predictors of higher income."

Worse still: while I wasn't completely unruly, I also wasn't the kind of kid who would have done well on another famed predictor of success—the marshmallow experiment—which found a correlation between a child's ability to delay gratification and their relative success as an adult.

Surely it's only a matter of time before employers start asking for kindergarten report cards along with your college transcripts. In the meantime, I'm off to figure out how to get my own kids to start breaking rules without making it seem like, y'know, it's a rule.


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